Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sewing my handwoven fabric

This morning was rainy and gloomy.  The rain stopped but it is still gloomy here.  I decided to brighten up my day.  Did I mention that it was chilly this morning?  Well, it was and that helped to inspire me.

As I sat thinking that I would have to get dressed or turn up the heat, I had a thought.  I have several pieces of fabric that I have woven that I want to use to make clothing.  I read that ponchos are coming into fashion again.  It is probably for women that this is true but I decided "Big Deal! I have never had a poncho"   So I took my fabric and started looking at it (and yes fondling it.)
I tried one fabric but it didn't seem right to me.
So I took some fabric that I wove using an orange colored warp and tried it.

Oh yes, I do like that fabric for this idea.
So I decided which parts I wanted to be on the front of the poncho and started working on it. Every seam is a simple straight seam and there are only four seams  in the garment.  This is my kind of garment sewing.  I didn't have a pattern or instructions, but I had seen a picture and was sure I could do it.
It looks like I succeeded!

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Backing Up - Quilty Post

Yes, that title says "Quilty Post" - I have finally gotten some work done on a quilt. Or rather the backing for a quilt.

I realized that I had not pieced the backing for the third section of the Wonky Squares quilt. So I decided to get that done today - and I did.

I wanted some pieced block in this section.  So I decided to use the half square triangle method I showed a few posts back. I took the largest square ruler I own and cut two large squares of fabric.  I used my Lapel Stick glue to hold the corners together.  I could have pinned them, but I am so bad about sticking myself that it is almost funny.  One of my friends who has sat and visited while I sew laughs when I jump and says "Didn't you know that those pins are sharp?"  or "When are you going to get it in your head that those pins will bite you?" So I use the no bite'em method.  My fingers appreciate it.

I thought I would show some of the trimming and tell you how I do the trimming.  The ruler I used to cut the original squares is 16 1/2 inches. So the HSTs will trim out to 11 inches.   Most good quilt rulers have a diagonal line.  So I line this line up on the seam. and get as close to the edges as I can in the first corner.

I check to see that the 11 inch lines are within the fabric edges.
As you can see I have about a fourth of an inch leeway.
Then I trim those two sides. I rotate the block and line up the edges on the 11 inch lines and be sure that the diagonal is lined up as well.
I trim the remaining two sides and have a perfect HST block.
Since this method makes four blocks, I combined them into a big block  to use in the backing.  Now I will be able to layer and quilt the third section of this quilt.
Pieced backing part three.

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Friday, October 24, 2014

What am I working on?

Ah yes,  but it is a secret - the "what I am working on" - but now an announcement has been made and I have added a button on my side bar.

I am working on projects (or will be when I get home again) for Patsy Thompson's blog hop.  Patsy is pretty well known as an amazing free motion quilt artist, designer and teacher. What you may not know is that she also does wonderful machine embroidery designs. Or was I the only one who didn't know that?
I was thrilled to be asked if I would participate. Of course I said YES!  I have one project completed and a couple of other ideas that are still in the planning stages. (and I can plan almost anywhere! So I am planning while patient sitting.)
My scheduled day is November 11th which is Veteran's Day. I hope you will visit all of the stops on our blog hop.  I know I want to see them all. I am sure there will be some wonderfully creative projects to see.

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Life Interferes - but we go on.

Sometimes life interferes with our plans.  Several things happened that interfered with my plans to start the commission quilt. But life goes on.

I was going to get started on it today, but as I was stretching before arising this morning, my text message alert dinged.  I still did not get up immediately - but I should have done so.  When I did get up, I found that a very close friend had gone to the Emergency Room with chest pains. I decided that I needed to be there as probably, he would be alone.  I called a minister (who is also a friend and happens to be much closer in distance) and told him what was happening. He went to stay with my friend until he stabilized.
I packed the car in record time and headed on my trip -which is just over an hour and a half.  I sang, I prayed, I tried to remain calm and focused.  When I got to the hospital, and got back to the bed, I saw that he was awake and relatively alert.  The doctor came in and gave results - all good ones.  The labs showed no signs of a heart attack, but he suggested a full cardiac follow-up. I will be spending the rest of the week and the weekend with my friend -just to be sure.

I used the time sitting in the hospital (waiting time) to spin some yarn.  The drop spindle is great for that as it is very portable.  I had my original Ashford student drop spindle in my backpack so I used it. I was spinning this lovely hand painted wool roving.
I was told by other spinners that "if you can spin on that spindle, you can spin on anything!"  As you can see, I can certainly spin on that spindle.  The whorl - the round  part at the top - is about 3 1/4 inches across and is somewhat heavy. 

I was spinning when the nurse or tech came in to remove the IV.  She asked what I was doing. I think she was amazed that people could do such a thing.  She thought it was all done on big machines in factories. 

On Tuesday, I received the lovely red "dragon's blood stone" drop spindle that I ordered on Etsy.  The seller kindly included some Norwegian wool roving to get started with. Having never tried the Norwegian wool, I had to use it first. As you can see it spins well. 

 I put the quarter in the photo for size reference.  This spindle only weights 1.25 ounces. It is very light and spins freely.  The only issue I have is that the stone is so smooth that the yarn tends to slip. I am thinking that a dot of hot glue on the edge to form a bump will help.   Say, did you know that you can use "bumps" of hot glue on the back of your quilting rulers to make them slide less?

This stone spindle whorl is so pretty, I just enjoy looking at it. But it will be getting a workout this weekend while I "patient sit."

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Bad Blogger!

I confess!  I have been a bad blogger lately.  I have been working on a project and experimenting with options for it. Since it is for a blog hop later, I can't show it yet.  I have spun some yarn and ordered a lovely drop spindle.

And done a bit of weaving - using an inlay technique that allows me to "paint shapes" in the fabric.  
My sewing machine has been calling my name.  I now have a commission quilt to work on also.  So I should be getting back to sewing this week. (yaay)

I am very happy to tell you that the Lapel Stick promotion has been extended until the end of this week, October 25th.  So you can still catch this great bargain.

Lapel Stick Promo

This is a great bargain.  I used my lapel stick just this weekend to attach a fabric bow onto a cloth bag that contained a birthday gift.  The uses for Lapel Stick are truly limited only by your creative imagination.  

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